The History, The One King, The Firstborn, The Military
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The destiny of the One King and the Firstborn are entwined on a thousand different levels. Before he unified the Firstborn, they were little more than a collection of tribes, leaderless and easy prey for the more civilized Blackbloods, Elves and Dwarves. The creation of the First Kingdom, widely known as The Founding, was the first time the Firstborn ever came together under one leader. Guided by the vision of the One King, the Firstborn Kingdom not only grew to encompass their entire race, but began a campaign of outward expansion that would absorb countless other peoples beneath its rule.
For three decades the Firstborn control was almost total and provided a period of peace and learning for the whole world, though that peace was hiding a growing hatred beneath its cool facade. The formation of the Triad and the bloody conflict that followed shattered the First Kingdom completely and left the Firstborn broken and enslaved for over two hundred years. Only the Sons of Kronos, safe in their harsh northern lands, remained free, refusing to bow to the other races.
With the return of the One King whose call to throw off the shackles of enslavement echoed clarion-like throughout the lands, a spark of hope emerged. Migrating back to their homelands, hundreds of escaped refugees braved the retribution of their masters and courted the dangers of the wild to answer the One King’s call. Refugees, eyes skyward, faces full of hope again took up arms against their oppressors and the One King quickly found he had a massive army ready and willing to fight for their freedom no matter the cost.
With the founding of the great city of Chronopia, built upon the very ashes of the First Kingdom, a new era of Firstborn pride began, the spark of hope now fanned into a great fire. Mobilizing around a central leader with a place to call home, the Firstborn nation grew, and grew quickly. Many of the races would regret not simply killing their former prisoners instead of enslaving them. It was an era that would be marked with blood and war as the Firstborn’s rebellion soon became an aggressive campaign against all the other races, the scars of the centuries of enslavement running deep in their blood.
Only the treachery of the Four Prophets and the rise of the Devout served to stop the Firstborn from beginning a new crusade of global revenge. As it is, the Firstborn have centered upon their old lands making themselves stronger against the fearsome darkness the One King foresees. Against this Dark Foe, the races of Chronopia will be hard pressed; fighting against each other will only hasten that inevitable end. It remains to be seen whether the enmities between the Firstborn and their old foes can truly be put aside or whether they will only help the Devout reshape the whole of creation in their own twisted image.
The One King
The Firstborn are unique in all the races of Chronopia. Unlike the Dwarves whose Gods are ancient and twisted mockeries of their former selves or the Elves whose Gods have punished them and left them to fend for themselves, the Firstborn have their God walking amongst them made flesh and blood. The powerful One King, whose name is lost in the ashes of the Old Kingdom, is the central figure in all Firstborn undertakings.
His life, measured in millennia, stretches across the history of the Firstborn and beyond. Even in their earliest records the Firstborn have documented tales of the coming of the One King. Their collective beliefs and actions seem to revolve around the One King’s divine plan, a plan the Firstborn believe will lead to an endless age of peace and order. Some say he is the only being alive who can stand against the Dark One; others claim that he has been chosen by the forces of justice to unite all the peoples of the world against the Devout. Regardless of which version of the stories one adheres to, his hatred of the Dark One is well known and instrumental in his own resurrection.
During his first life, it was his dark visions of a world under the rule of the Devout, his people little more than chattel for the Dark Lord, which made him develop his insanely heroic plan to save his people by uniting all races under his banner. The tragic irony in this course of action is that the plan he created led to the birth of the very evil he sought to stop.
After his death at the blade of Duke Chropus, the One King’s own arcane spells flung his soul into a reality beyond our own. It was there in this “between place” that he saw the open gates of Hell and the Dark One preparing his forces for a push into the One King’s former world. Swearing a thousand oaths, the one King attacked the Dark One, beginning a cosmic struggle known of only by the highest and most trusted Chronomancers. The One King attempted to push the Dark One back into his pit and close the gates of Hell on him for good. This clash of gods has burned the minds of those overly curious Chronomancers who have peered too closely into the past to see the truths of this event.
"Drawing on the power of the Firstborn people, the One King was aided in his fight against the Ultimate Devourer by the souls of his closest Firstborn, many of whom have since been reborn with their King though they have no knowledge of their heroic past. Their courage shines through though all of their actions and many of these warriors have become some of the most powerful Chronomancers in the land.
Following the battle against the Dark One, the One King’s spirit was drained and nearing oblivion. Only the feeling of the Four Prophets calling out to him as they hung on the gallows kept up the One King’s resolve to return, giving him both the strength to live and the anchor in reality he needed to direct his soul back from the brink."
His rebirth is the stuff of legend made flesh and has been written about in the chronicles of all the world’s races.
The Firstborn are a stoic people standing roughly six cubits high and possessed of a dedication difficult to understand. They lead regimented lives that center around the wisdom of one man, the One King returned to them from the brink of oblivion. Today, the Firstborn have the appearance of heroic and civilized warriors, but that has not always been so. The years of enslavement have left bitter marks on their soul and a deep hatred of all the other races, especially the Elves, under whose rule they suffered the most. They fear enslavement more than anything and would die before being captured and enslaved again. It is this phobia that makes them all the more terrified of the undead Risen employed by the Devout for in their skeletal ranks, Firstborn see an evil form of enslavement from which even merciful death cannot free them.
The Firstborn army is highly organized and regimented. All the units in it can be identified by the color combination of the checkered cloaks they wear and the ribbons they have pinned to their armored chests.
The pride of the One King’s army is the Imperial Knights. Capable of fighting as foot soldiers as well as on their great battle-steeds, Imperial Knights are heavily armored and favor swords, maces and lances for battle. The Princes in control of each of the seven princedoms select them from all sections of society. The very bravest of the Imperial knights may become Repulsar Knights.
The elite of the Firstborn army, Repulsar Knights have led the charge at many of the Firstborn’s greatest victories - including the recapture of Nereth and the victory over the Devout at Kragorn Pass. They favor full plate armor and have their helms personally made for them by the King’s own armorer. The crested helms they wear are a reflection of the honor and pride they have earned in battle. They wield mighty bladed pole-arms and carry the iron banner of the One King on their backs.
Many of the Judges now bringing the One King’s law to the land originate from the ranks of the Repulsar Knights. While Repulsars favor huge pole-arms, the Judges are recognized by their two-handed axes known as Truthbringers, their menacing cowled helms and the book of Holy Law each carries. It is said that when the guilty looks into the face of a judge, they die.
If the Repulsars are the most idolized of the One King’s forces then the Judges are its most feared. Only the Black Sisters from the far north bring as much terror to people’s hearts as Judges. These fierce warrior women pledge themselves to the One King and to the blade. They live for battle and carry the blessing of the One King onto the field. They are armed with large two-handed swords and they too have the privilege to carry the One King’s banner.
In battle the skilled archers of Calamon and the crossbowmen of Gergythia augment the warbands of Knights and elite units. These troops wear lighter armor with full-faced helms, and unlike the supporting troops of other races they willingly engaged the enemy in hand-to-hand combat. Overall though, control of the kingdom itself is in the hands of the Iron Guard. In the early days of Chronopia, the Iron Guard was one of the proudest and most honored of regiments of the Firstborn Army. Following the desertion of many of its numbers to the Devout during the Great Treachery, their standing and influence has greatly diminished. Iron Guard are determined to remove that stain from their honor and their increasing skill in battle could well do that. The death of an entire company of Guards while protecting the fortification of Balaak on the Dreadland borders has gone some way to rebuilding the people’s faith in them.
Currently, they rule the cities and carry out the One King’s will with grim determination and an absolute resolve. The Iron Guard, wearing large ornate shoulder pads and carrying broad-bladed spears and enormous shields, a uniform that dates back more than three hundred years. On the battlefield they form into the now infamous "shield walls" allowing them to advance on an enemy and remain almost invulnerable to missile fire.
There are lesser-known forces that lurk in the One King’s retinue. The deadly Nightwalkers are his chief assassins. Only ever seen by their victims, they are regarded by many as a modern myth, for surely the One King does not need the services of assassins and murderers. The Nightwalkers blackened armor, helm and ebony blades often give them the appearance of being followers of the Dark One and not trusted servants of the One King.
Far to the north, the Sons of Kronos serve the One King though they do so sparingly. Also known as the Untamed, they are the only Firstborn never to be enslaved and are proud of their legacy of freedom. Barbarians bred in the harsh northern lands, their ferocious battle temperament and refusal to admit defeat have helped make them one of the most feared and respected peoples in the land. The Black Sisters come from their ranks as do the one King’s savage barbarian retinue known as the Burning Blades. They are armored in bronze girdles, chest plates and shoulder pads with ornate horned helmets, and the sight of them charging into battle, their huge swords and barbed throwing spears bringing death to all they meet, has led many Firstborn to fear them as demons.
There are factions within the Untamed however that chafe against the One King’s rule and have separated from their Brothers to follow other paths. Some view the One King with disdain, others with hatred.
First version from 27.04.2008. Last Version from 27.04.2008.